Controversies have been part and parcel of cricket matches between India and Australia, particularly in recent years given the intensity of the contests and the high profile attached to them. There have been several minor sore points but we take a look at three major controversies ''Down Under'' that have been the subject of much debate:
Vinoo Mankad’s running out of Bill Brown (1947-48)
The running out of the non-striker at the bowler's end is largely perceived to be an unsporting dismissal though I have never really understood why. In my book, it is the non-striker who is taking an unfair advantage by twisting the laws of the game which are quite clear in this regard.
Vinoo Mankad created Test history of sorts by running out non-striker Bill Brown for 18 on the opening day of the second Test at Sydney in 1947-48 for backing up too much. The Indian left-arm spinner had rehearsed this successfully when the Indians played an Australian XI also at the SCG but on that occasion had warned the batsman first.
Mankad's action caused some controversy but he had his supporters too and none was more forthcoming than Don Bradman. The Australian captain in the series Bradman came to Mankad's defence while relating the incident in his autobiography ''Farewell to Cricket'' and penning his thoughts on the subject.
Bradman wrote: ''An early sensation came in the Australian innings when Brown was once more run out by Mankad who in the act of delivering the ball held on to it and whipped the bails off with Brown well out of his crease. This had happened in the Indians' match against the Australian XI and immediately in some quarters Mankad's sportsmanship was questioned.''
In Image: Photograph of Vinoo Mankad (right) and Pankaj Roy returning after their world record setting opening partnership of 413 runs in test cricket, a record that stood for 52 years. Madras, January 11, 1956.
Text: Partab Ramchand